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I was reading some Le Guin and eating my oatmeal when I realized there was a discussion going on outside, between a crow and a songbird. Thinking about the outside world made me realize that I hadn’t seen any bees, since the Day of the Dandelions. So I took my book outside, to sit with the flowers.

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Crow wars were going on, a boundary dispute, I think. Five went southwest fast, and one returned to sit on the telephone wire. “Caw caw caw caw caw”, and then the return, another five caws, back and forth. Then a return to daily business, and I returned to my book.

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Unabashedly proud of these; petunias grown from seed saved from petunias last year. It would be good to honor this feeling, and set up something for the winter, to start my own seedings.

My yard tends towards chaos; there’s a strip between downspouts that we’ve just sort of abandoned; It gets mowed maybe twice a summer, and I watch for interesting-looking things sprouting. I have a small stand of woodland sunflowers, probably ten plants that I’m waiting to see bloom, all coming from the first two, two years ago. The daylilies and a wild grape vine are having their own conflict there. And white clover runs in an arc along the corner of the yard, with a cluster of butter-and-eggs acting as its center point.

A pot of bush zucchini;

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I can’t convey the shock value of these orange blossoms. And little zucchini coming along!

I have a garden every year that I can, but this year it seems to mean more.

We went to see Inside Out. Everybody’s telling the truth; it’s a great movie. And PEOPLE NOT ME applauded! So I did too. I’m really happy that people do that.

Daylily pictures!

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I like this last one best. Some year I’ll take the ultimate daylily picture, and quit doing this.

The neighbors’ puppy:

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Yes, I did have to get all artsy. I think there was some pretentiousness in there too. She’s just this scrawny thing, all dig and jump. The neighbor said “she’s a dumb dog, she doesn’t come.” I said, “she’s brilliant, she just needs puppy school. No, she’s not too young.” I am having hella time not going over there and kidnapping the wee thing. She is so cute!

And FINALLY!!! The hollyhocks I’ve waited for for three years.

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I stole seeds from in front of the post office, from plants that look just like this. Maybe the seeds I spent a small fortune on the year after will bloom – next year.

Today was cool and rainy. The clouds broke up as we were coming out of the theater, so we drove down to the marina to watch the last 5 minutes of sun – bright red sun, from the forest fires. But it will be cool enough to sleep under the covers tonight, and warm enough by the end of the week to head up to Corny and go swimming.

It’s an Esquire article on Frank Sinatra, written by Gay Talese;

“… a star land of little men and little women sliding in and out of convertibles in tense tight pants.”

Just, wow.

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Study of a Figure. Piet Mondrian. 1911, oil on canvas.

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Grey Tree. Mondrian again. 1912, oil on canvas.

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And again with the Mondrian. Still Life with Ginger Jar II, 1911/12, oil on canvas.

I’m reading “Mondrian” by Susanne Deichler, and learning things.

I tried a different doctor on Monday, but Mondays don’t go well for me, and I kinda got up and left, and went to the chiropractor, who said WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR LOWER BACK LOOK AT YOUR NECK WHAT DID YOU DO!!!!!!! Um, it’s maybe my job? And then there’s the sitting at a computer part, too, like when I dink around on facebook and do blog posts. And play solitaire. Can’t forget that.

So then I go to my regular doctor, whom I love dearly but she’s 40 miles away, but she’s very understanding that I might try another doctor (okay, maybe she’s trying to get rid of me). But anyway, I tell her my lower back is sore and my hips are sore and my left hip is probably arthritis but my right hip feels squishy and I don’t like that.

Now, think about telling a medical professional that your hip feels squishy, and having your medical professional say, “well that’s probably inflammation.” NOT “what kind of bullshit is that?” This is why I love my doctor. Anyway, she tells me to stand up and walk. And then walk with my hands out of my pockets, and then stand up straight. And then she says “You are all kinds of bent.” Or something like that.

I guess I stand sort of like this;

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(Bernini, by the way)

Illustration is slightly exaggerated.

So, it was somewhere in there that she put her hands on my hips and poked and said is this tender? and I said ow yes how do you do that? Do you learn that in doctor school? She told me it was something you just pick up. And laughed, diabolically.

I love my doctor.

Okay, off the computer now!

But I ended up at this article, discussing William Bougereau’s place in art history. (I enjoyed it, the author knows stuff, you might like it.) Apparently, the guy liked to make money, so he painted things that wealthy people wanted to hang on their walls. Also, he was an Academy painter. Doomed to bourgeoisie, for sure.

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La Bohemienne, I think?

Except he did those other paintings.

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Pieta.

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Dante et Virgile.

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Les Oreades.

Take what you want, and leave the rest, I guess.

(All this is pretty much just a ploy to get myself and others to look at Caravaggio’s work again. I am so devious.)

So, I had a couple minutes to kill before a meeting at the library tonight. I wandered back towards the magazines, but was intercepted by the art books. I looked through the slim pickings, deciding which 20-lb tome I should check out when I ran across a book of Caravaggio’s paintings. It’s a beautiful book, marred only by the inclusion of words. It has a poor reproduction of this;

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Sorry, huge, I know. but really, it’s so wonderful. A friend has those annoying praying hands up in his apartment, the official photograph of Minnesota or some foolish thing. I keep threatening to get an 8 foot replica of this and put it up. If you’re going to do religious iconography, do it right.

Anyway, the point of this story is that I was at the desk checking out, and I felt obligated to mention that Caravaggio is my official dead boyfriend. He’s obviously the type I am attracted to – Trouble, with a capital T – but with the added benefit of being dead so I don’t have to worry about getting dragged into something.

This might be the reason people stay just a little back from me. Maybe.

Unrelatedly, I’m reading “The Goldfinch.” Of course it took ten years to write. Example from pg. 160: “He was a planet without an atmosphere.”

That counts for 6 months, right there.

spring

The door is open, the top is off my car, there is no slush in the driveway, the kitteh is surveying her world.

However, the first bug of the season flew in while the door was open. Well, the first bug known to fly into my house this season.

Nothing else much new here. I went way off my diet, and I am suffering and gaining weight, so all that has to end. I’m breaking out from my non-allergy to chocolate, so that’s been gone for 4 days already. It’s all the other stuff I have to quit again. But, it hasn’t been so long that I don’t remember feeling better. That makes it easier to try again. “There is no try. There is only do, or not do.”

To do, or not to do. That is the question.

Not the psycho “why is it 85 degrees out it’s only April” nice, but an actual nice May day, So I went out and did things in my yard, mostly trimming the incredibly long grass along the foundation and all the stuff piled up by the foundation. I thought about mowing the lawn; it really needs it.

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I am actually a little embarrassed by all those dandelions, because obviously I am an immoral person with low standards and that is why my grass is full of them.* But, it’s been cloudy and/or raining for a week now, ending with fog this morning, and I have a reel mower that does not appreciate cutting wet grass, so instead I pulled out my folding chair to sit and knit for a while. And realized that there were a bunch of these guys;

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Bitty teeny wild bees. Maybe 20 at first, but as the minutes went by, it seemed like there was one for every 6 dandelions. So I let them have something to eat. Them and the butterfly that stopped by for a bit. And I’ve seen the bunnies enjoying the blossoms, starting at the bottom of the stem.

And then because it was nice I rode my bike over to the co-op. I so love riding my bike. That will never get old, I hope.

(*Just so you know, I’ve already mowed this part of the yard twice, and the rest once. It’s just this week that I’m being an immoral person with low standards.)

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